For me, the best part about reading fiction by female authors is getting a clue as what women are really thinking when men make fools of themselvesâ€”unfortunately, a daily occurrence in most places. And reading about the highly paid boors, rakes, and mansplainers who inhabit the corridors of Wall Street, well. Letâ€™s just say I am genuinely impressed at the depths to which my fellow knuckle-draggers can stoop.
That said, Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry was a lot of fun. Following a stressed-out protagonist making boatloads of money while fending off the advances of the less evolvedâ€”not to mention contending with an entitled husband who cannot seem to comprehend the meaning of workâ€”and you have the makings of sheer, page-turning mayhem. If you like reading about harried women professionals determined to blow up the glass ceiling, then grab this book. As a bonus, youâ€™ll learn a lot about the inner workings of Wall Streetâ€”unless of course, the author was making the whole thing up.
You can find this review at Goodreads.
Maureen Sherryâ€™s funny insider novel about a female Wall Street executive also trying to be a mother and a wife is a â€œcompulsively readableâ€¦cheekyâ€”and at times, romanticâ€”battle-cry for any woman whoâ€™s ever strived to have it all and been told by a man that she couldnâ€™tâ€ (Entertainment Weekly).
Itâ€™s 2008 and Isabelle, a thirty-something Wall Street executive, appears to have it all: the sprawling Upper West Side apartment; three healthy children; a handsome husband; and a job as managing director at a large investment bank. But her reality is something else. Her work environment resembles a frat party, her husband feels employment is beneath him, and the bulk of childcare logistics still fall in Belleâ€™s already crowded lap.
Enter Henry, the former college fiancÃ© she never quite got over; now a hedge fund mogul. He becomes her largest client, and Belle gets to see the life she might have had with him. While Henry campaigns to win Belle back, the sexually harassed women in her office take action to improve their working conditions, and recruit a wary Belle into a secret â€œglass ceiling clubâ€ whose goal is to mellow the cowboy banking culture and get equal pay for their work. All along, Belle can sense the financial markets heading toward their soon-to-be historic crash and that something has to giveâ€”and when it does, everything is going to change: her marriage, her career, her bank statement, and her colleaguesâ€™ frat boy behavior.
Optioned by Reese Witherspoon who called it â€œsmart, biting, and honest,â€ Opening Belle is â€œfunny, relevant, and often shockingâ€¦.Even if your own life is far from a fairy tale, it will allow you to laugh, learn, and maybe even lean inâ€”to hug your own family a little closer.â€ (The Washington Post).
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